Benfica suffer horror defeat ahead of facing Rangers as they let title advantage slip

Europa League opponents are thrashed by rivals Porto as key man is sent off

Benfica suffered a chastening night ahead of facing Rangers next week after they were thumped 5-0 by title rivals Porto at the Estadio Dragao.

Roger Schmidt’s Eagles welcome Rangers to the Estadio da Luz on Thursday in the first leg of their last 16 Europa League tie, but they will need to recover from a damaging defeat by Porto that resulted in them relinquishing top spot in the Primeira Liga. They were soundly beaten by Porto, who remain in third place in the Portuguese top flight, six points behind Benfica, who are now in second after Sporting CP jumped into top spot by a point by virtue of a 3-2 win over Farense earlier in the day.

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Benfica were 2-0 down at the break after Porto’s Brazilian forward Galeno struck twice and the match was put out of their reach on 56 minutes when Wendell added a third. Benfica’s night went from bad to worse when captain and centre-half Nicolas Otamendi was dismissed for a second bookable offence six minutes later and attacking midfielder Pepe netted Porto’s fourth on 75 minutes. Porto put the icing on the cake in stoppage time when substitute Danny Namaso made it 5-0.

Benfica were soundly beaten by Porto in the Primeira Liga.Benfica were soundly beaten by Porto in the Primeira Liga.
Benfica were soundly beaten by Porto in the Primeira Liga.

This is the second damaging defeat for Benfica in less than a week after they lost the Lisbon derby to Sporting CP 2-1 on Thursday night and their fans will demand a strong reaction when they take on Philippe Clement’s Rangers, who themselves slipped up at the weekend, losing 2-1 at home to Motherwell.

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